Africa – Incubators and Tech Hubs : A Young Professionals Key to ICT Entrepreneurship

Karen Triquet summarizes recent initiatives which have provided platforms for students to connect with other entrepreneurs and share knowledge. An infographic on the blog shows how everything can become connected through the community. She profiles Afrilabs which include iHub – Kenya, Hive Colab – Uganda, ActivSpaces – Cameroon, BantaLabs – Senegal, NaiLab – Kenya, MEST – Ghana, iceAddis – Ethiopia, Co-Creation Hub – Nigeria, iLab – Liberia, RLabs – South Africa, BongoHive – Zambia, Malagasy i-Hub – Madagascar, m:Lab EA – Kenya, Wennovation Hub – Nigeria.

She includes videos of iHub in Kenya.

Education and Employment are ways of fighting poverty, and these internet HUBs are a way of increasing access to it as well as linking individuals potential to wider audience-more global.

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Re-thinking rural education: Bringing the outside world to a village

Aun posts about the village where they grew up in a rural area of Pakistan where basic infrastructure was not available and only a very basic education is available other than to those who have rich parents and go to school in the city. They point out how difficult it is without lack of resources and the challenges that many of the village families face resulting in high dropouts. Aun has an exciting plan for next month, travelling from Toronto back to the village:

This time, I am not going to be doing much talking. Instead, I will let the projector, hooked up to internet, show these children all they want to know about the world that is still alien to them. The children are going to be shown a few visual documentaries and a couple of movies to get them excited about the prospects of learning they will have available to them.

The internet and projector can not only be used to educate these children but can also help in trainings for women & men in the village. For example, we can have virtual classes where someone sitting in Canada or anywhere else in the world teaches women in the village a skill or an art. I believe all of us have a unique touch, a talent. Some of us are lucky enough to have the conductive environment that allows us to discover, realize and use our talents. Unfortunately, most of the times these talents and special skills go unnoticed.

Aun welcomes suggestions for how to make this happen, so if you can spare a few minutes…

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Für die Kinder von heute ist der Füller der Touchscreen

Martin Ebner shares  his presentation from a recent symposium where he was invited to discuss the topic of ‘digital natives’.  He looks at digital literacy, digital divides, digital identity, the appropriateness of current educational practices for today’s students. The presentation also provides data about usage of mobile learning and how young people are using their devices

The presentation

eTwinning Learning Lab

Tea describes an eTwinning learning lab that she has launched in Spanish about using Web 2.0 tools.  She demonstrates an answer garden which anyone can type in to answer the question

One of the first activities was to create an AnswerGarden with a question which Web 2.0 tools have you used before. By providing a link to your blog or any page, you get feedback and brainstorming.

In a follow up post she provides a list of a range of Web 2.0 tools that have been used in the Learning Lab including Animoto, Prezi, Vimeo.

The full list

the real blog #1

Minulii takes a look back at technologies she has used – in school using different Apple technologies and she later took classes in IT where she learnt about using the interne, creating websites and editing photos. She thinks of IT as tools but remembers playing educational computer games as a child. She enjoyed the discussion groups more than the lectures.

Later in the post she reflects on gaps with technologies including countries where Internet access is more restricted and refers to a study which notes the importance of being able to find relevant information

Students more often search for relevant information, without taking into account how credible the obtained information is

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Building Democratic Learning: The limits of Moocs

Fred Garnett writing from the WikiQuals project, mentions how he has been participating in several MOOCs and working on various open projects for several years. He calls the content-driven MOOCs #edspam which refers to the new range of MOOCs that have emerged after the original connectivist MOOCs. He refers to a discussion where commenters have said that the for students following Coursera MOOCs there is limited navigation opportunities. He reflects on the concept of distributed knowledge:

I don’t see that Connectivism MOOCs are creating distributed knowledge either, although they are distributing new practice and asking new questions about learning. The participants seem to be acting more like Wenger’s’ Technology Stewards within evolving Digital Habitats, (who walk at 45 between hierarchies & networks) revealing new ecologies of learning, or at least new Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. It is this networked learning potential that is really exciting in the hype-world that MOOCs currently exist in. Sadly the MOOC is becoming a box in which institutions are trying to capture this evolving practice so they can sell it; they are trying to build an e-education service delivery model.

He discusses American educational policies and his own experience teaching in the US, reflecting on Open Access Models and Open Scholarship  and links to a slideshare he created of a recent discussion on education and what is emerging alongside market influences and makes suggestions for how to create participatory democratic education.

Seniors as Old as 91 and 93 Master Computer Literacy in Latvia

The Lithuania Tribune reports a story from the Latvia Institute which has an ambitious goal

Seniors as old as 91 and 93 mastered computer literacy in Latvia within the scope of “Connect Latvia!”. A project, which is being conducted for the fourth consecutive year by „Lattelecom”, the largest electronic services provider in Latvia.

This year, as it is the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the project is aiming for an even greater social impact – to teach 6000 seniors aged 50 and older by November 2012.

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The teaching and learning center renewing Tech Tuesdays for a second year

Walter Harris reports in the Cal Times that the California University of Pennsylvania is continuing to provide opportunities for staff to explore innovate ways of using mobile and other technologies in their teaching and learning programs. They have noticed that staff are keen to learn more about how to use them and help their students

In addition to the open house, the TLC also offers training and answers questions online. Faculty can chat live with a Virtual Training Technician via Skype, watch an online tutorial from their private YouTube channel or take part in online training workshops. The TLC is also open to faculty Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m

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Differentiation

Henrick Oprea does not believe in a one size fits all model of education. He looks at the differences between students, how they interact, what is progression and reflects on ‘connections connections connections’ , noting that teachers are not capable of doing it all:

We don’t learn from school exclusively, and this should have already become crystal clear with the revolution that technology is likely to bring about in learning. We learn best from one another. We learn when we’re challenged and when we are stimulate to think differently, to find viewpoints to support our opinions. This will rarely come from a group of people who have grown up exposed to the same old ideas. If we confine a group of people into one single space, with access to the same sources of information, these people are likely to end up having a lot more things in common in their way of looking at the world than we may think

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